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Positive Parenting- Ten Suggestions

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1)  Find Many Ways to Share Your Love and Approval.

Let them know how much you appreciate who they are and how unique they are. Don’t compare them to others or try to treat them in exactly the same way as any other sibling. Give them a positive self-image by telling them how much you value their special qualities. Think of ways to give them confirmation. You are special! I’m glad you’re part of my life. You are lovable and cuddly. I appreciate your _________________

2)  Encourage Positive Communication Patterns

If you ask your children open-ended questions, they will learn to think and express themselves better. What do they think of __________? What are their ideas about _________? What are they interested in? Let them know you value what they think and feel by actually listening to them and responding appropriately. If your child wants your attention while you are just cooking or talking to a friend, tell them when you will be available to listen to them.

3)  Set a Good Example

Children watch what we do more than they listen to what we say! If you want your child to be honest, helpful, respectful, and kind, you should behave that way. Your child will look up to you and will naturally imitate and say everything you do and say.

4)  Notice Good Behavior and Ignore the Bad

That which you pay attention to will grow! Children love to be noticed, so pay attention to helpful and positive behavior and ignore bad behavior. Avoid arguing with and yelling at your child. This can lead to showing negative behavior to get attention. Use time outs or natural and logical consequences for unacceptable behavior.

5)  Determine Reasonable Limits and Limitations

Appropriate boundaries and restrictions give children a sense of security. Explain to your child that their safety is your responsibility.

Try to involve your child as much as possible in determining the boundaries and limitations. Be persistent and fair to your child about enforcing boundaries and use natural and logical consequences where possible when they are forgotten.

6)  Accept Your Child’s Feelings and Think of Safe Ways to Help Him or Her Cope with them

Feelings are neither good nor bad nor correct or wrong. Feelings are just there! Feelings help us to know who we are and when something is good or bad for us. Children learn from their parents to handle and express their feelings.

That’s why it’s important to talk about — and find appropriate ways to deal with, your own feelings. If children have strong feelings, stay calm and help them find safe ways to release the negative energy of their feelings. Suppressing feelings causes bigger problems in the long run, such as depression, panic or stress and health problems.

7)  Help Kids Be Problem Solvers and Learn from Their Mistakes

Everyone will encounter problems and obstacles in their life. Help children see that there are many ways of dealing with obstacles and solving problems. If they have trouble solving a problem, provide them with other ways of looking at the problem and some alternative solutions. When they make a mistake, let them know it’s okay to be wrong.

They can be our best teachers if we allow them to. If something does go wrong, instead of making a big fuss about what went wrong, ask them what they learned from this situation.

8)  Avoid Threats and Bribery

Manipulating children because you have scared them or made promises to make them behave will cause problems in the long run. Children need to be able to trust the adults in their lives and feel safe with them.

Threatening and bribing only work in the short term because externally controlled behavior creates negative feelings and therefore being ineffective and long-lasting. Positive behavior is an internal choice the child makes, based on love and the need to please the parents.

9)  Only Make Promises You Can Keepchild

Your child is counting on you to feel loved and safe. If you don’t keep a promise, he or she will feel insecure and think you don’t care. Promises are just as important for something a child doesn’t want, like a time out! Avoid big threats or harsh punishments – these are promises too.

Later you will realize that you were wrong or went too far, and it will be confusing for the child if you don’t follow through. If you think of smaller consequences for their behavior, you are more likely to follow through. You must train your child to understand that Yes means Yes and No means No.

10)  Impose Reasonable Responsibilities

Children need to learn through experience. Give them tasks that help them feel valuable and important. Even at a young age, children can be helpful and feel that they contribute to the family in an important way. If you take the time to make chores fun, he/she will learn to be helpful and feel good about themselves.

It’s harder these days to feel like good parents. A lot of time and attention is required from them and the negative influence of our current media on our children is increasing. Every parent will have good and bad days. The trick is noticing when you’re starting to get upset or frustrated with your child. Recognizing that you’re being triggered and taking some calming breaths to get yourself back under control can help.

Manage the situation with your child before it gets out of hand – perhaps by giving a time out or taking a time out yourself to regain control. Parents make the most mistakes when they are angry: they yell, argue, pay attention to negative behavior and give punishments that are inappropriate for the situation.

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